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“From the place i was caught to the container it was about 700m but this felt for me like a year”

Date & Time 2022-05-27
Location Horgos, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.1760864, 19.949572
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 33 - 33
Group size 25
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, photos taken
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 6
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), pepper spray, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 6 security officers including at least 2 soldiers dressed in camo uniforms

On the 27th of May 2022 a group of 25 people-on-the-move got pushed back from Hungary to Serbia around the city of Horgos.

The respondent, a man from Syria, explained that after crossing the border fence into Hungary around 1am on the 27th of May, he found himself in front of an officer. He ran away and was chased by the officer for an extended period of time.  Eventually, they both fell to the ground. The soldier caught his breath, stood up, and started to beat him severly with the gunstock of his weapon, referred to by the respondent as a “Kalashnikov”. Still lying on the ground, he tried to protect his head with his arms which caused wounds and bruises on both wrists as well as a deep wound on the top of the head (see picture 1) and large bruises on the left thigh (see picture 2).

The respondent adds the officer took his shoes and threw them away so he doesn’t try to escape again. He describes he was then taken by foot “to a special place for immigrants, a container” and kept on being beaten all the way. “From the place I was caught to the container it was about 700m but this felt for me like a year”. 

The respondent explains he apologized to the officer several times and asked him to stop hitting him, in vain.

When they arrived at the container (46°10’34.4″N 19°56’32.8″E), another soldier started to beat him before locking him up with around 25 other people already detained. He was detained for around two hours and says any access to food, water or toilet was impossible. The respondent explains that during the detention someone opened the door and pepper-sprayed all the inside of the container before locking it back.

Around 4am the transit group was sent back to Serbia through a gate in the fence close to Horgos while being filmed by the Hungarian authorities. The respondent was wounded and still barefoot when he was pushed back along with 25 other people.